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    Finding the Right Tenant – Part 2: The Right Screening Questions

    As previously discussed in last week’s blog, one of the most important aspects of the leasing process is the screening process of the tenants. The screening process ensures that the landlord is finding the best tenant for the property.

    The questions asked in the screening process should not be limited to just the potential tenant. The most thorough screening process included conversations with past landlords and employers.

    So to make sure that a landlord is asking the right questions, we have provided below a brief lists of some of the best question to ask the potential tenant, landlords and employers.

    Screening Questions for the Potential Tenant

    1. Do you currently rent, and if so, where?
    2. How long have you lived in your current home?
    3. Why are you looking for a new place to live?
    4. What date would you want to move in?
    5. What kind of work do you do?
    6. What is a rough estimate of your income?
    7. How many people would be living with you?
    8. How many people living with you smoke?
    9. How many parking spaces would you require if you rented here?
    10. How many pets do you have?
    11. Do you think your current landlord will give you a favorable reference?
    12. Does your current landlord know you are thinking of moving?
    13. Have you ever had an eviction?
    14. Are you familiar with our rental application process?
    15. Are there any issues I should know about before I run a background screening for all the adults in the household?
    16. Have you filed for bankruptcy recently?
    17. Will you be fine to pay our lease application fee of ($ amount) if you fill out the application?
    18. Would you be able to pay the security deposit of ($ amount) at the lease signing?
    19. Are you willing to sign a 1-year lease agreement?
    20. Do you have any questions for me about the process?

    Screening Questions for Past and Present Landlords:

    1. What is the address of their property?
    2. Who were the occupants listed on the lease?
    3. How long was the tenancy?
    4. What was the tenant’s monthly rental amount?
    5. Did the tenant consistently pay rent on time?
    6. Did the tenant maintain the rental property well? Were there any major damages or maintenance issues?
    7. Did the tenant have any pets?
    8. Were there any complaints from neighbors or other tenants?
    9. Why did the tenant leave?
    10. Would you rent to this tenant again? Why/why not?

    Screening Questions for Employers

    1. Can you confirm that the tenant was/is employed at this company?
    2. What is the tenant’s monthly salary?
    3. What was the date of hire?
    4. What is the tenant’s position in the company?
    5. What are the terms of employment? Is there a trial or contract period?
    6. What are the average hours worked?
    7. Does the tenant come to work on time?
    8. What are the tenant’s long-term job prospects?
    9. How do you like working with the tenant?
    10. Has the tenant ever been reprimanded at work?

    These question are only a starting guide of some of the question to ask during the tenant screening process. For the potential tenants, the questions can be broken down to application and follow-up question. Breaking down the questions in to parts is great as not all applicants will need the full screening questions, as answers to the initial application questions may already rule them out as good fit for your property.

    For more questions to ask, check out these links.

    Pen.do: Top 10 Reference Questions to Avoid Bad Tenants

    RentPrep: 20 Questions To Ask Potential Tenants

    The Balance: 10 Basic Tenant Screening Questions

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